Tips For Handling The Holidays With Braces

The holiday season is here, and while we know everyone is looking forward to some well-deserved time spent relaxing and reconnecting with loved ones, things are a little more complicated for those wearing braces. While delicious, many of the foods and snacks we love to enjoy during the holidays can pose a serious threat to braces. To help you make it through the holidays without harming your braces, here are a few guidelines for how to keep your braces safe during the holidays.

Maintaining a Braces-Friendly Diet

Having braces doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy holiday treats, but it does mean you’ll have to be a little more careful than normal. In general, you’ll want to avoid 3 main kinds of food: hard foods, which can include hard candy, peanut brittle, peppermint, and raw vegetables; sticky foods, which can include taffy, caramel, bubble gum, and jelly beans; and any food or drink that’s loaded down with sugar or carbs.

Just because you have braces doesn’t mean you have to miss all the fun, though! There are plenty of delicious, braces friendly, and healthy holiday treats to dig into this season. Chocolate dipped strawberries or bananas are a great option, as are sorbets and frozen yogurt. If you’re feeling extra indulgent, nut-free cheesecake or brownies are a special treat – just be sure to brush your teeth afterwards!

Happy Holidays!!

Sezer Olcay, DMD

HOLMDEL ORTHODONTICS

723 North Beers Street Suite 2A Holmdel NJ 07733 – (732) 847-3065

http://holmdelortho.com/

Halloween and Braces

Holmdel Orthodontics would like to remind all our patients to be careful when they bite into their treats!  All those sweet, sour, and sticky candies may taste great, but these treats are known to damage teeth, as well as break braces, and delay precious treatment time!

Hard and chewy candies, caramels, taffy, nutty goodies, jelly beans, licorice, bubble gum, and sour candies can cause trouble for trick-or-treaters who are undergoing orthodontic treatment. Sour and fruity candies, such as Starburst and Skittles, are the worst candies for your  teeth. These candies have a low pH value, which can wear down the enamel causing tooth decay and cavities!

If you’re still looking for other braces-friendly alternatives, we recommend cutting up easy-to-eat fruits and vegetables such as an apple or banana. Soft chocolates and peanut butter cups are ok too!

Always brush and floss immediately after eating candy to fight cavities.  If it isn’t possible to brush right away, drink a glass of water to remove some of the sugar from your mouth.

Sugar is known to sit in your teeth. After consumption sugar sits in between and under brackets and wires. It is also important to know that sugar is not the only cavity-causing culprit. Carbohydrates, starches, acids, and any food that is chewy or sticks break down into sugar, and can promote tooth decay.

If you happen to damage your braces, please give us a call. Typically, small problems can be solved with a quick visit to our office. If you have any questions about sugary foods or drinks, please give us a call or ask us during your next adjustment visit! –

(732) 847-3065

Sezer Olcay, DMD

HOLMDEL ORTHODONTICS

723 North Beers Street Suite 2A Holmdel NJ 07733

April is National Facial Protection Month

Active and competitive sports have grown immensely over the past few years and it’s been estimated that about 20 million teens participate in a variety of competitive sports. With this huge amount of participation, the occurrence of injuries also increases substantially. It has been reported that almost 40% of all adolescent injuries occur in a competitive sports environment and most of those injuries are to the head, face and mouth. Athletes are more than 60 times more likely to sustain injuries to the mouth if not wearing a mouth guard. When receiving a blow to the head, the teeth and jaw often impact together and send a shock through the neck and spine, thus resulting in more substantial injuries that may have been preventable with a mouth guard.

What about wearing a mouthguard while in braces? Make sure your child always wears a mouthguard with braces while playing sports. April is National Facial Protection Month, and spring sports are in full swing and summer sports just around the corner! If your kids play contact sports like softball, baseball, tennis, or lacrosse—and especially if they wear braces—protective gear is absolutely essential.

There are many different mouthguards out there, however there are three basic types: pre-made, “boil-and-bite,” and custom-made. The “boil –and- bite” type is too tight fitting with braces and cannot be worn while in orthodontic treatment. Custom-made mouthguards are specially designed by your child’s orthodontist or general dentist to provide optimal protection AFTER the braces are removed. During orthodontic treatment a pre-made, loose fitting mouthguard is indicated. You want a mouthguard that doesn’t fit tightly around the teeth so that the teeth can move into alignment with the braces. At Holmdel Orthodontics, we provide orthodontic mouthguards for our patients in braces. Dr. Olcay will show your child how to wear his or her mouthguard properly.

National Facial Protection Month is sponsored by the Academy for Sports Dentistry, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the American Dental Association, the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, and the American Association of Orthodontists. Visit their websites for more info on treating and preventing sports-related injuries to the face and head.

As a member of the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO), Dr. Olcay encourages your kids and their teammates to wear mouthguards and other protective gear—such as helmets, face guards, and protective eyewear—when playing organized and recreational sports.

CARING FOR YOUR BRACES

Braces, wires, springs, rubber bands, and other appliances can attract food and plaque, which can damage teeth if not brushed away. Most orthodontists recommend brushing after every meal or snack with fluoride toothpaste and carefully removing any food that may have gotten stuck in your braces. Some orthodontists will also prescribe or recommend a fluoride mouthwash, which can get into places in the mouth that a toothbrush can’t reach. A waterpik or airflosser is also sometimes helpful to flush out stuck food.
Flossing & Brushing Tips With Braces

To floss teeth if you have braces, feed the short end of the floss through the space between the main arch wire and the upper portion of the tooth closest to the gum. Use a gentle sawing motion to work the floss between the teeth. Be careful not to pull with too much force around the arch wire. Begin brushing teeth by using a regular soft toothbrush. Brush down from the top and then up from the bottom on each tooth with braces. Next, brush your teeth with a proxabrush or “Christmas tree” brush. This brush is specially designed for cleaning between two braces. Insert the brush down from the top and then up from the bottom between two braces. Use several strokes in each direction before moving on to the next space between two braces. Repeat the procedure until all teeth have been cleaned.
Foods to Avoid While Wearing Braces
While wearing braces, most foods can still be eaten if you cut them into small pieces that can be easily chewed. There are certain foods, however, that can break or loosen braces and should be avoided,

such as:

• Hard or tough-to-bite foods, such as apples or bagels
• Chewy foods, such as taffy or caramels
• Corn on the cob
• Hard pretzels, popcorn, nuts, and carrots In addition, do not chew ice or bubble gum.

Protecting Your Healthy Smile

Oral care throughout orthodontic treatment Orthodontic treatment is an important investment in your future. Everyone helping with your orthodontic care wants you to have the best results possible. While you are wearing braces, it is essential that you take care of your teeth and gums. This article explains why and how.

More care needed during orthodontics

Have a look in the mirror at your new braces. As you see, the brackets and wires have many nooks and crannies that can trap food and plaque. This means your risk of tooth decay and gum problems may be higher while you are wearing braces.You need to pay special attention to cleaning your teeth every day and to your diet. Permanent damage to tooth enamel can occur if the teeth and brackets are not kept clean.
Tooth-friendly diet

Dental professionals are increasingly concerned about acidic foods and drinks that can damage tooth enamel when consumed frequently or when sipped over extended periods of time. Examples of acidic foods include apples, cherries, pickles, soft drinks, BBQ sauces, salsas, and vinaigrette dressings. While many high-acid foods are healthy for your body, low-acid foods are better for your teeth. Remember – during orthodontic treatment, it’s best to choose low-acid foods when you sit down to eat.

Braces-friendly diet & habits

There are foods that can loosen, break or bend wires and bands when you are wearing braces. Avoid hard foods such as nuts and hard cookies. Foods such as apples and carrots should be chopped into small pieces before eating to reduce the stress on your braces. Avoid sticky foods such as caramels, toffees, muesli or fruit bars. No chewing gum! No chewing ice! Habits such as nail biting, unnatural tongue thrusting, pencil chewing and nervous picking at your wires can also break braces. Be aware of these and make an effort to stop them. Remember that damaged braces mean extra appointments, inconvenience and extended treatment time. If you do break your braces, be sure to make an appointment with your orthodontist immediately. Broken braces are not correcting your teeth!

Care at home

When cleaning your mouth while you are wearing braces, you need to pay special attention not only to your teeth and gums, but also to the brackets and wires.
Here are four simple steps for keeping your teeth, gums and braces in great shape:
1. Spend about 10 seconds on each tooth before moving on to the next tooth, brushing in a set pattern so that you don’t miss any teeth.
2. Brush both the inside and the outside surfaces of your teeth using a gentle circular motion on each tooth.
3. For the chewing surfaces, use a firm back and forth motion.
4. Pay special attention to brushing at the gum line, that is where food/plaque tends to hide causing red, swollen gums and white lines on the teeth.

Fluoride and oral care products

Fluoride protection against tooth decay is needed throughout life. However, while you are wearing braces, it is much harder to keep your teeth clean. This can result in higher than normal amounts of plaque accumulation, which can cause cavities.
Using fluoride toothpaste after each meal or at least twice a day is one of the most proven ways to help you stay decay free. Fluoride makes teeth more

resistant to the acids produced after eating or drinking and replaces minerals that are lost in the early stages of tooth decay.
Your orthodontist or hygienist may recommend using special cleaning aids such as interdental brushes or floss threaders – yes, you can and should floss while wearing braces! Ask your orthodontist or hygienist to show you. You can use ACT, an over the counter fluoride rinse or your orthodontist can prescribe you prescription fluoride depending on your situation.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Olcay, call 732-847-3065 or visit www.holmdelortho.com.

Braces at any age? by Sezer Olcay, DMD Holmdel Orthodontics

Despite the general myth that braces are just for kids, teeth can be straightened at any time throughout your life, provided that your bones, teeth and gums are healthy. After a consult with Dr. Olcay at Holmdel Orthodontics, you will come away with a thorough understanding of the type of braces that are right for you.

Have you seen more interest in braces among adults in recent years? If so, why do you think that is?

Yes, these days more adults are interested in having a beautiful smile. Research shows people with straight teeth score higher in the areas of leadership, popularity and sports ability. This is mostly due to the fact that straight teeth increase self-esteem and confidence. Sometimes braces are on the bucket list. After the kids’ teeth, college tuition and other expenses of raising a family, it finally becomes the parent’s turn. Also, more adults have insurance with adult orthodontic coverage that will help finance the treatment.

What are the reasons for adults to consider braces?

The most important reason is to improve general oral health; straight teeth are easier to brush and floss, and thus less prone to cavities and gum disease. Sometimes braces are also needed to prepare teeth for bridge work or implants.

I had braces as a teen, why do I need braces again?

Just because the teeth are straight today (whether you had braces or not), does not mean the teeth will stay straight forever. Teeth, like everything else in the body, move throughout a lifetime. Once teeth are straight, retainers should be worn forever to maintain their position. After adult orthodontic treatment, I recommend fixed lingual retainers, which is a wire that is attached to the tongue side of the teeth.

What does adult orthodontic treatment involve?

Depending on the teeth and bite, it may entail “full treatment,” which generally takes about two years, or it might involve limited treatment to align a few teeth, close spaces, or prepare for bridge work or an implant.

What are the options?

There are conventional braces, which could be metal or ceramic, and there are aligner systems like Invisalign or Clear Correct. Technological advances, such as smaller, stain-resistant ceramic braces and computer-generated clear aligners, have made both these options more comfortable and convenient. A third option is Lingual Braces, which are braces against the tongue side of the teeth. According to Dr. Olcay, adults make great orthodontic patients; they are so much more appreciative of the treatment and more compliant than younger patients. Initially they tend to be little more hesitant and self-conscious, but there are never regrets!

Learn More

Holmdel Orthodontics

723 North Beers Street Suite 2A Holmdel NJ 07733 – (732) 847-3065

 

DOES YOUR CHILD NEED BRACES?

When Should My Child See An Orthodontist?

Your dentist can tell you when to seek evaluation from an orthodontist. The American Association of Orthodontists and the American Dental Association recommend all kids be evaluated for orthodontics by age 7. By this age, the orthodontist can detect subtle problems with jaw growth and emerging teeth. Most kids begin active treatment between the ages of 9 and 14. Orthodontists recommend that children receive an evaluation while they are still growing. Once they stop growing, treatment may take longer; require more extensive work and possibly surgery.

Do Braces Hurt?

“Hurt” may be too strong of a word. Your child may have some discomfort a couple of days after the braces are placed, when they are adjusted, or when you start using a new appliance, such as rubber bands or a headgear. Any pain or discomfort can be relieved by taking ibuprofen (Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol). Also, if the wire, brackets, or bands irritate your child’s mouth, your orthodontist can provide special wax to cover the sharp areas on the braces.

How Much Do Braces Typically Cost?

The cost varies depending on the extent of work being done, the type of braces being used, and where you live. But you should expect to pay between $2,000 and $8,000. Most orthodontists provide different payment plans and will allow you to make payments over the course of treatment without charging interest. Some may take insurance. Ask about all treatment fees and payment plans offered.

 

WHAT ARE MY OPTIONS FOR BRACES?

With the myriad of different choices these days getting braces is a lot more fun (and confusing) than it used to be.

The braces of today are also much less noticeable and although metal braces are still the most common, you may be able to get clear braces or others that match the color of your teeth. Believe it or not, there are even braces that go behind your teeth where the only person that knows they are there is you. Braces involve attaching small metal brackets to each tooth with a special type of cement. The brackets are then wired together and the orthodontist makes adjustments every few weeks to slowly force the teeth to in the past. For those that want their braces to be less noticeable, the best choice would be ceramic braces. These involve attaching larger brackets to each tooth and because they are mostly clear and less noticeable, adults generally prefer them. We use coated wires that make the braces barely visible. However, patients that choose ceramic braces must be particularly careful to maintain a regular brushing and flossing routine. Most of the time the braces are placed in front of the teeth. But there are also bracket systems that can be placed on the tongue side of the teeth (thus lingual braces). Some of the brand names are Incognito and Sure Smile. Lingual braces are very expe- sive due to the degree of difficulty for the orthodontist to work with. Minor orthodontic problems can be corrected with Invisalign. They are clear plastic aligners that are worn at least 19 hours a day. P tients receive a new set of aligners every two weeks. The aligners are usually anchored by tiny white “buttons” that your orthodontist will attach to your teeth (and remove at the end of treatment). These buttons are colored to match your teeth and are barely noticeable. Thanks to the amazing technology in the field of orthodontics patients now have more options when it comes to wearing braces. Rest assured that Dr. Olcay and her caring staff will ensure that you make the right decision. change positions. A typical course of treatment with metal braces lasts two years.

What are my options for braces?

Depending on the patient’s aesthetic preferences they can choose between a variety of different types of braces. The most common are stainless steel braces and today’s metal braces are smaller and more comfortable than in the past. For those that want their braces to be less noticeable, the best choice would be ceramic braces. These involve attaching larger brackets to each tooth and because they are mostly clear and less noticeable, adults generally prefer them. We use coated wires that make the braces barely visible. However, patients that choose ceramic braces must be particularly careful to maintain a regular brushing and flossing routine. Most of the time the braces are placed in front of the teeth. But there are also bracket systems that can be placed on the tongue side of the teeth (thus lingual braces). Some of the brand names are Incognito and Sure Smile. Lingual braces are very expensive due to the degree of difficulty for the orthodontist to work with. Minor orthodontic problems can be corrected with Invisalign. They are clear plastic aligners that are worn at least 19 hours a day. Patients receive a new set of aligners every two weeks. The aligners are usually anchored by tiny white “buttons” that your orthodontist will attach to your teeth (and remove at the end of treatment). These buttons are colored to match your teeth and are barely noticeable.

The first step toward achieving a beautiful, healthy smile is to schedule an appointment. To schedule an appointment, please email or call us. Our scheduling coordinator will contact you soon to confirm your appointment.

Email: Appointments@HolmdelOrtho.com.

723 North Beers Street Suite 2A

Holmdel NJ 07733

(732) 847-3065

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Overbite, Underbite…What Is This All About?

profileaboutBy: Dr. Sezer Olcay DMD

What we colloquially call overbite is technically called overjet, which is how much the top teeth are sticking out. True overbite is have much top and bottom teeth overlap. If top and bottom teeth do not overlap at all, when the bite is open that is open bite.

In the Caucasian population 70% of bite problems are “overbites”, which is overjet; ie top teeth sticking out. Part of this problem is genetic; however habits, such as thumb/blanky sucking, tongue thrusting can significantly contribute to that. If the underlying problem is the habit, than the habit needs to be stopped or controlled first. Otherwise, even if the bite is corrected with braces it will relapse. In the

Asian population 70% of bite problems are underbites, where the top teeth are inside the bottom teeth. Even though this is mostly genetic, early tooth loss, blocked or missing teeth can also create an underbite.

Whether it is an over bite or underbite, it is very important to determine the underlying cause of the problem. If it is true skeletal problem where the relationship of top and bottom jaws, it is more important to start treatment when the patient is still growing. Otherwise, correction of skeletal bite problems may involve jaw surgery.

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that each child is evaluated by an orthodontist at age 7, to rule out and skeletal bite problem. It certainly does not mean they will have braces at that age. Once a bite problem has developed, if not corrected, long-term it can cause several physical aliments, such as:hondel

  • Speech impediments, such as lisps
  • Problems chewing and eating
  • Jaw pain caused by strained jaw and muscles
  • Worn tooth enamel, leading to cavities and gum
    disease
  • Higher risk of front tooth damage
  • Soft tissue damage

Dr. Olcay’s specialization is in orthodontics and dento-facial orthopedics which means correction of teeth and jaw discrepancies. Depending on your situation, Dr. Olcay can treat your overbite or underbite with various treatment options like Braces, a retainer, Invisalign or other appliances. If you have any concerns about your or your child’s bite issues please call Dr Olcay at 732-847-3065 for a free consultation.

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Sweet Treats To Avoid When Wearing Braces

Even though you might want to sink your teeth into your favorite gooey, chewy candy, the definite answer is “no.” Anything that is sticky will pull off your colored ties, loosen your back braces and distort and/or damage your wire, extending your treatment time.

Dr. Olcay suggests staying away from all the sticky, gooey and hard candy, even if all your friends don’t. Breakage and repairs will delay treatment time and cause unnecessary damage to the teeth and braces. Occasional accidents may happen. In that case call the office immediately to schedule a “repair appointment”. Also, pay attention to what caused the breakage so you can avoid it next time. Hard, chewy candies, caramels, taffy, nutty goodies, jelly beans, licorice, bubble gum, suckers, and sour candies are some of the foods that can cause havoc for children who are undergoing orthodontic treatment. Sour and fruity candies, such as Starburst or Skittles, are the worst for your child’s teeth since these candies have a low pH value, which can wear down the enamel that protects them. This can cause tooth decay and cavities!
So, what are the alternatives?
Candy such as dark chocolate, or anything that contains the sugar substitute xylitol is not as harmful for your teeth as hard, chewy, or sticky sweets. Experts at the American Association of Orthodontists recommend softer treats or melt-in-your-mouth foods. These include soft chocolate, peanut butter cups, gelatin treats, ice cream and smoothies. I also encourage them to brush and floss between teeth immediately afterward, including around brackets and at the gum line. Also, limiting number of snacking is important. Each time teeth come in contact with sweets acid production starts. So, one is better off eating all at once and brushing right after instead of nibbling the same amount over a long period of time. If you’re still looking for other braces-friendly alternatives, we recommend cutting up easy-to-eat fruits and vegetables such as cut-up apples or grapes. You would also be surprised how much eating a banana or sipping on a glass of water helps you curb snack cravings!

For more information or any concerns,
call 732-847-3065 for a free consultation.